Washington Babylon — May 1, 2009, 12:08 pm

Fundraising and Hate-mongering

From Alexander Cockburn at The Nation, wisely citing me about Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “the arch-salesman of hate-mongering”:

Ever since 1971 U.S. Postal Service mailbags have bulged with his fundraising letters, scaring dollars out of the pockets of trembling liberals aghast at his lurid depictions of hate-sodden America, in dire need of legal confrontation by the SPLC. Nine years ago Ken Silverstein wrote a devastating commentary on Dees and the SPLC in Harpers, dissecting a typical swatch of Dees’ solicitations. At that time..the SPLC was “the wealthiest civil rights group in America,” with $120 million in assets.

As of October 2008 the net assets of the SPLC were $170,240,129, The merchant of hate himself, Mr. Dees, was paid an annual $273,132 as chief trial counsel, and the SPLC’s president and CEO, Richard Cohen, $290,193. Total revenue in 2007 was $44,727,257 and program expenses $20,804,536. In other words, the Southern Poverty Law Center was raising twice as much as it was spending on its proclaimed mission. Fund-raising and administrative expenses accounted for $9 million, leaving $14 million to be put in the center’s vast asset portfolio.

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More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

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How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

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A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

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